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Ed’s Museum
100 S. Gold St.
Wykoff, MN

A quick stop for lunch (including Spam for Dave, who knows how to join a road trip) and then it was off to Ed's Museum in Wykoff, Minnesota. How to describe this attraction? Well, Ed was a local grocer (among other things including a Character with a Capital C) who ran a Jack Spratt franchise market from the 30's on.

He was also a, how to put this, pack rat. Who never threw anything out. At all. Nothing. Seriously. Ask us about the dead pet cat. No, better still, don't.

Anyway, Ed saved all kinds of keen stuff, from old grocery store products to the glass slides advertising coming attractions for silent movies (he ran the local movie theater for years) to toys to pretty much every issue of Life magazine to we don't even know what all.

When he died, he willed the building that housed the store and his apartment above to the town, with the proviso that nothing was to be thrown out. A couple of intrepid locals organized the clutter into well-organized clutter, and volunteers give tours. There is a great deal to see and it's both marvelous and frustrating, because the number of treasures here, the sort of things that would make Road Show Antiques lose their minds, are largely unpreserved, dusty and fading. Mary saw four signed photos of silent star Mary Miles Minter, centerpiece for Mary's favorite Hollywood scandal (ask her about it; she gives tours), all faint and splotched and nearly gone, and she all but sobbed.

For all we know, though, that's the way Ed left it and the organizers of this rich piece of eccentricity have completely done the best they could with it, especially given it's a non-profit attraction. We mean, we aren't talking Spam money here, people.

Dave made the comment that people like Ed, for all their oddness, perform a valuable service because in saving everything they save things that other people throw out including the boxes that objects came in, therefore providing a historical record of our culture.

You have to call ahead to take the tour or you can visit the Bank Gift Haus across the street and they’ll call someone for you who’ll open the place up.

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